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Maxon Recreates Original 'Star Trek' Backgrounds in Blu-ray

Long before the movie "Star Trek" (2009) and endless Star Trek spin-offs on TV, there was the original series featuring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy a few light years before they were eligible for Social Security (and still doing more than their sharing of acting roles today, thank you very much).

And now, thanks to tech advances that finally seem to seriously question the long-held "fact" that no content can be made to achieve a higher quality than its original source material, the original "Star Trek" series has been redefined and enhanced, figuratively and literally, by Maxon. The developer of 3D modeling, painting, animation, and rendering said it deployed advanced 3D matte-painting and texturing capabilities (branded as Maxon Cinema 4D) to, in effect, recreate new HD backgrounds for the decades-old series' Blu-ray Disc debut.

Maxon said in a statement it relied primarily on its Cinema 4D BodyPaint 3D, in tandem with renowned matte painter Max Gabl and CBS Digital over about two years to bring many of the visual effects of the 1960s episodes up to warp speed in 2009. The final product itself is not rendered in 3D, but rather in HD (aka 2D).

The full third season of "Star Trek: The Original Series Re-mastered" was released by CBS/Paramount Home Entertainment on Dec. 15 in America. (The first two seasons were released earlier this year.)

The original series was filmed on a fairly small budget, and produced hastily (typically one episode per week, which is lightning fast for a sci-fi series), with sometimes poor lighting and backdrops. The technical recreators used Maxon's BodyPaint 3D as a "core software application" to recreate 33 establishing shots and scene extensions, as well as to re-establish nearly 50 planets and other space settings.

Matte painter Gabl's credits include "Flags of Our Fathers" for theaters and "Pushing Daisies" for TV.